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Mariah Carey Says Her Affair With Derek Jeter Helped Her Get Out of a Toxic Marriage

Mariah Carey revealed that Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter helped her leave her toxic marriage to music executive Tommy Mottola. The singer opened up to Oprah Winfrey for The Oprah Conversation on Apple TV+ while discussing her upcoming memoir, The Meaning of Mariah Carey.

Ahead of her highly anticipated new memoir, Carey sat down to candidly share her never-before-told stories about her personal journey that inspired her music. During the interview with Oprah she discussed why her affair with the baseball star played such a huge role in her life. “I think that it was beautiful,” said the Grammy winner. Citing Jeter as the “catalyst” that inspired her to get out of her marriage, she explained that he helped her believe there was somebody else out there for her.

Mottola first discovered Carey’s musical talents in 1988 and shortly after signed her to Columbia Records. They started their relationship in 1992 and decided to get married the following year. Their relationship ended in 1997.

Carey shared that meeting Jeter’s family also had a tremendous impact on her. “It was the racial situation, his mom is Irish, his dad is Black.” Carey’s parents — who are also Irish and Black — divorced when she was young, and she’s previously shared that growing up she was subject to harassment for being biracial.

“They changed my viewpoint that ‘Oh, it’s because of the biracial situation that my family is so screwed up,’ as opposed to ‘it’s them.’ And yes, those things did play a huge part in their dysfunction,” recalled Carey, “But it was healthy for me to see a functional family that basically kind of looked like mine, but didn’t feel like mine.”

“He was also living his dream job and doing his dream job,” said Carey, “I believe we connected in that way.”

Before you go, click here to see celebrity couples with significant age differences.

Catherine Zeta-Jones, Michael Douglas

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